Monday, Nov. 04, 2002

Nkechi, 18 years old

"In African-American society, there is a lot of leeway as far as body type. The ideal body is thick, not fat, kinda voluptuous. Big butt, big hips, big breasts, small waist, and long hair. I don't think a lot of girls in the African-American community focus on their body type. If they aren't skinny, they don't care. If they're not voluptuous, they don't care. And if they're fat, they don't care. They eat what they want, and that's it. It's not as big an issue.

A person like me, who's skinny all over, was not looked at as having a very attractive figure. In fact, they made fun of people like that. They used to call me anorexic, as a joke, because when I started high school, I was very skinny. But at UCLA, I'm told all the time, 'Oh, you have the perfect body.' Here, the perfect body is slender, like what you see in the magazines."